1999 America's Best New Chefs | Suzanne Goin

Lucques, Los Angeles

Age 32
Background Born in Los Angeles. Worked at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California; Olives in Boston; and Campanile in Los Angeles.
First thing she ever cooked Crêpes. "I'd take my electric crêpe pan outside and make crêpes for my younger sister and her friends. Mom would say, 'Don't you want to play in the pool with the other kids?' and I'd say, 'Oh no, I'm very busy.'"
Dish she could eat every day Sushi. "And I probably do eat a prosciutto-and-butter sandwich daily."
What she eats at 1 A.M. Chinese food, burgers or cheese. "Basically anything with fat in it."
Food vice Pancakes and rare bacon at Du-Par's coffee shop in L.A. "You have to specify rare bacon and they always look at you funny."
Strangest customer request "Rod Stewart ordered pot de crème--with bananas and vanilla ice cream. I had to run around the neighborhood looking for a banana."
What she'd be if she weren't a chef A hand model. "If you look at a chef's hands, you'll know why it's a dream."
Recipe tip Always cut steak against the grain. A skirt steak's grain can curve, so turn the meat as you slice.
Restaurant details 8474 Melrose Ave.; 323-655-6277.